Despite an overall decrease in fraudulent activities and computer misuse in 2017, the latest reports from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that targeted incidents of computer misuse and malware against businesses are on the rise.

The increase in business-related cybersecurity crime, the report claims, is being driven by a massive 145 percent rise in computer malware and DDoS attacks, with some 8, 292 offences committed in 2017.

While consumer-targeted attacks have steadily declined, cyber-criminals are now turning their attentions towards the enterprise sector, with such attacks being far more profitable. This has led to the targeting of high-profile institutions through ransomware and Trojan attacks, such as the WannaCry incident that affected vulnerable NHS facilities in May of last year.

The attack, which spread to more than 150 countries in a worldwide ransomware outbreak, was the biggest to have hit the NHS to date. A proliferation of such attacks, and the rapid rise in which they’re occurring, has the potential to cause further damage to companies, governments and individuals.

As a result of this ever evolving and challenging cyber environment, the government has announced plans to implement fines of up to £17 million to UK firms that lack sufficient cybersecurity protection measures.

The most robust safeguards will be expected to be put in place for sectors considered to be of essential public service, including energy, transport, water and health sectors. And under new government directives, regulators will be able to analyse, evaluate and test the cyber-security of such companies.

The reliance on, and the increasing digitalisation and automation of all companies along with a number of high profile hacking incidents, has brought cyber security onto the public agenda. The latest ONS report further emphasises that cybersecurity is an issue worthy of commitment, both financially and otherwise and companies need to respond accordingly.

At SCC, we have long realised the need to protect vital digital business operations from intrusive and debilitating malware attacks. As part of our services, we offer companies access to state-of-the-art detection and analytics software, aimed at analysing and evaluating potential malware attacks.

Although we’ve witnessed a rise in organisational awareness of potential attacks, online criminals are clearly finding new and creative ways to circumvent and compromise security. This means that behaviours that would normally be vetted and identified as anomalous or “unusual” are getting harder and harder to detect. In most cases, they may actually not seem unusual at all.

When it comes to protecting sensitive financial and personal data, businesses need access to the very best software possible to protect themselves from intrusions. Detection and analytics software, as well as up-skilling employees to be more “cyber-aware”, can be one of the most cost-effective ways to both increase security best practices and limit the probability of a crippling cyber-attack.

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